One thousand mixed daffodils...

Another day off, with no gardening done. My goodness, my April has started rather poorly. Well, that is all about to change. I have so many plants to plant - and one thousand mixed daffodils to pick up this weekend.

Thursday 8th April

Yesterday I went out with the walking group, with whose ladies I pass myself off as a gardener. Many asked how my autumn trimming and cutting back was going. Eek! I haven't really done any yet.

 The yellow perennial daisies are almost finished flowering.
Autumn Flowers

My official line is that I'm waiting for the fire ban to be lifted. And it's true - I think I am! However, I'd better start getting serious soon or I really will have nothing to say. Writing in a gardening journal when one has not done any gardening at all seems to be rather fraudulent.

The Hawk :
A beautiful, large, chocolate brown bird with white markings on her head.

However, I do have good news regarding the young female hawk I've been feeding. Two medium sized boys dropped in a suitable - ahem - carcass - for her food this morning, and they'll bring me more if I need it. Meanwhile the hawk herself seems much better - she's flown the length of the orchard (though not gaining much height), and she's much more alert when being approached. I may have seen the end of her, and that will be a good thing. A scavenger harrier hawk is not a pet.

Back to the garden - I though I could perhaps write a list where plants are matched to positions. Otherwise this coming weekend will be full of 'Where on earth can I plant the *****? questions. It really has to be simple, too. Here goes.

All are planted in the new garden behind the Shrubbery, within reach of the irrigation.
Daylilies and Cordylines
In the new garden, corner of the Frisbee Lawn.
In the Glass-House Garden, front, visible.
Removed from the Frisbee lawn corner, planted on the fence-line with the others.

And where would I like to plant one thousand daffodils? And twenty juvenile variegated Agaves? Hmm... Watch this space. I'm starting in earnest tomorrow.

 Unknown - but very pretty.
Yellow Roses

Friday 9th April

Right. It is the morning of my BIG GARDENING DAY, and it is autumn nippy. At exactly 9:00am, fuelled and fortified with hot drinks, energy-wise muesli and banana, plus a soft boiled egg for protein, I am going outside. I know what to do. And I have fifteen bags of horse manure and over fifty plants in pots to do it with, so to speak...

More Animal News

Last night after a week of no-sightings my grey cat Lilli-Puss turned up, smooching and purring. Hopefully she (and not fattie Fluff-Fluff) is eating the dried cat food I sneak into the Stables. FF is suspected of pee-ing on wet towels in the bathroom - again! Rude cat!

Most Valuable Pet Competition

And, while on the subject of cats, a huge thank you to all the faithful who are voting for little Minimus and Kaya the black beauty - just two of the new contestants in the Most Valuable Pet competition. They are quickly rising up the rankings. Thank you sooooooo much!

My hawk possibly spent all night standing on yesterday's meal - aargh! One really cannot look too closely - sometimes country living is rather basic. This morning she did another low flying length across the orchard. So she's regaining her strength. Rusty the dog is temporarily banned from the orchard, just in case he decides to roll in anything...

 Starting to appear in the peony foliage.
Autumn Colours


That's five hours later - perhaps not quite as big a day as I'd imagined at breakfast. I've concentrated on one area (quite a good idea, really) - that being the corner garden of the Frisbee Lawn. I shifted out Agapanthus, planted two Hebes, two red and two green Cordylines, and lovingly spread out all the bags of manure. I cut a huge branch off a tree, watered everything madly, and pulled out all the little Agaves. They are now in a selection of blue pots by the Stables.

Busy Planting Plants...

The new yellow daylilies (Cabbage Flower) and Kniphofias (Percy's Pride) are in a sunny spot in the front of the Stables Garden. I've also put the Rip van Winkle miniature daffodils there, and two orange Helianthemums - such great little shrubby perennials for the edge of a garden. I shifted some irises and pulled out heaps and heaps of self-sown Euphorbias to make room.

Then in a random moment I planted the variegated Mondo grasses behind the garage, again on the edge of the garden. Tell you what - all this planting is tiring work! I've tried to dig really sensible planting holes, water things properly, and so on. And I've cleaned up all my mess.

 Her tail is getting wet!
My Hawk by the Water

Checking on my hawk - the best news ever. I watched her fly properly, soaring up in higher and higher circles. She won't let me come too near now - a sure sign that she's recovered. I'll keep throwing dead rodents etc. into the orchard for her to feed on for another week or so, and then re-evaluate.


I'm sorry to say that the bird I mention above, flying high, was not my hawk.

 These woody shrubs grow in the Shrubbery.
Shrubby Lavatera

Saturday 10th April

I'm having another big day - more plants need planting, with careful watering (the soil is quite dry). And who knows - I may be the new owner of eight white flower carpet roses and twenty allium bulbs by dusk (may not be, too). Oops - I'm back onto the online plant auctions, though I am terribly cheap! No more talk - just action. Back not too soon!

Late Lunchtime...

I didn't need any more white roses anyway! All I've done so far today is plant eight Hebes and some Renga Renga in the back of the Shrubbery and shifted the hoses around a bit.

Regarding My Hawk...

I am a bird innocent, though, as it now appears that I am feeding all the flying hawks in the neighbourhood. My own personal hawk, alas, is still not flying properly, though her wings stretch out properly without sagging. I have thrown her two dead rodents for today's feast. Now I'm worrying about her again...

 Looking pensive...
Fluff-Fluff the Gardening Cat

It's a sunny, sparkling day, and Fluff-Fluff has been with me, lying in the planting holes and generally getting in the way, showing me his tummy. Little Minimus is much more discrete gardening company!


I've finished for the day - I've planted a golden Escallonia and a double Kerria in the Shrubbery, and I've weeded the whole area. Easy - that didn't take long at all! But I've left the mess in the little sandy courtyard - it needs to be burnt and I'm still waiting for the fire ban to be lifted. I'm off now to (hopefully) take some salvia photographs. This is their season, and I have several shrubby varieties which I enjoy peeping at. The flowers may be small and subtle, but I like them!